What Are Hot Glue Sticks Made Of?

Three thermoplastic elastomers are commonly used for making glue sticks: EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), APAO (amorphous poly alpha olefin), and PA (polyamides). These materials are mixed with a variety of modifiers to create the ideal product for the task at hand. The modifiers change the tack, the set speed and open time, prevent degradation of the adhesive over time, and make the final product tougher and more flexible.

The design of hot-melt glue sticks depends on the intended use

  • EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) is probably the most common and can be manufactured for soft-pressure-sensitive adhesive use, rigid adhesives for furniture manufacturing, and the like.
  • APAO (amorphous poly alpha olefin) is used in paper and packaging, paper lamination, cardboard and case sealing, and the like. They have moderate heat resistance and comparatively longer open times than other hot-melt adhesives.
  • PA (polyamides) provide good adhesion to different substrates such as metal, wood, vinyl, ABS, and PVC.

Whichever hot-melt you choose should be tailored to your application, and that includes the application device. We here at Glue Machinery want to help you get the best possible adhesive system for your project. Contact us and we will take your provided substrate samples through our Glue Diligence® process. We’ll test the material in our Glue Diligence® Lab and provide clear, unbiased recommendations, videos of the gluing and assembly process, and bond tests.


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